We are delighted to announce that three members of the Rethink Phoenix North Lancashire group have recently been notified as winners of a poetry competition run by Rethink Mental Illness.
Sue Flowers, Lindsay Hudd and Ann Horabin all submitted poems to the Ellie Shakerley Poetry Competition on the theme of ‘Hope’. The competition, in its 5th year, was set up in memory of Ellie, who left a legacy of over 500 completed poems of extraordinary and vivid originality.
Winning poems can be read below.
THE SEA OF HOPE - ANN HORABIN Amassing dark clouds on the horizon, Imminently and urgently. An unexpected yet inevitable tempest, Spiralling and crashing. Torn from the moorings of home's harbour, Drifting and unstable. Splintering on the rocks of hell, Floundering and screaming. Hands reaching up from the depths, Shaking and searching. Whispering words floating on currents, Indecipherable and transient. Driftwood floating over an ocean chasm, Uncharted and exhausted. Changing tides of emotions, Flooding and ebbing. A safety net of strong arms, Supporting and polarising. Familiar voices bridging synapses, Rebuilding and remapping. A safe shore to ground and regroup, Stabilising and reassuring. A rescue mission unable to fail, Determined and informed. Glimpses of old personalities over the horizon, Strengthening and overcoming. Relaxed expressions with hints of smiles, Rewarding and reassuring. Tiny steps on shifting sands, Tentatively and hesitantly. Ready to chart the voyage ahead on the Sea of Hope, Empowered and resilient.
THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE - SUE FLOWERS There is hope in the Christmas tree lights fuzzily reflected on the silent TV screen as they change colour allowing my body to feel their brilliance whilst I await a phone call. There is hope in the police officer's voice when he explains that he understands and they are doing all they can to find him in his confused, distressed state. There is hope in the kindness that comes from friends and family who phone or text. The teapot of a good friend pours out hope as I sit in her farmhouse kitchen wrapped in friendship Sharing our story and desperately wanting it all to go away. There is hope in our family as we come together to shelter around our precious man, persuading him to seek help, to heal, and build himself back up again, slowly, quietly over time. We believe in him....so there is always hope.
HOPE - LINDSAY HUDD It is dark in here and I am feeling my way gingerly Hands pat patting around me as I move To sense where things now are. Our world shifts and shifts With each incoming tide of professional advice "Try this, stop doing that, get her back into school, get her back into routine". She looks at me with grey empty eyes Cardigan wrapped body on a stinkingly hot ward Her ragged arms and legs veiled from view in shame. We take her, miles and miles away Where there is one bed left. We hug goodbye in the early hours. She goes with the psych nurse I sob and howl into the night like an animal Safely beyond the airlock. Thick layers of medication and therapy are applied to her To massage her back to life "make it better" Yet hope did not arrive that way but in an angry storm within her. It arrived in her saying "no!" and in the cutting of contact, It was held in with firm boundaries of kindness and compassion around her broken heart And the sweet choreography of a new dance with her younger self began. So hope lives within her now, Pouring out of her in art, compassion and boundaries for herself and others. It is still learning to float in the ebb and flow within her But she is here, she saved herself and in doing so lent us her hope.